Reknowned Malayalam film actor and director, Venu Nagavally, died at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram this morning. He was 61.
Venu had been suffering from bad health for some time. His condition worsened a week back and he was moved to the hospital, family sources said.
He is survived by his wife and son.
The son of veteran writer and broadcaster late Nagavally RS Kurup, Venu had acted in over 200 films and directed 12 movies, many of them superhits during the 1990s.
Venu had his breakthrough in 1978 with Ulkkadal, in which he played the role of a tragic hero and his subdued but sensitive portrayal made him an instant hit with the audience.
This was followed by a string of notable roles in successful movies like Yavanika and Salini Ente Koottukari.
Venu, however, chose to withdraw behind the screen with the emergence of the superstar era in the 90s, concentrating more on direction, script writing and production.
He also had a brief stint in All India Radio before giving up the job of broadcaster to become a full time director.
His directorial hits included Lal Salaam, which revolved around the lives of the early Communist leaders of Kerala, Sukhamo Devi and Ai Auto.
Members of film fraternity, political leaders and cultural personalties expressed profound grief in the death of Venu.